Evgeni Malkin powers Penguins past Red Wings

Mike Green Red Wings

Mike Green Red Wings

Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins returned from their bye week and picked up right where they left off.

"Its always fun when you win and have more confidence", Malkin said. "Now you're feeling so much better".

It's the second straight game the power play has been a big letdown - it went 0-for-4 against Tampa Bay on Sunday, and has produced just two goals the last 27 opportunities, spanning eight games. Pittsburgh's offensive stars carried the offensive load as the Penguins won for the fourth time in five games. As I pointed out a couple of weeks ago, that is a significant drop in the team's ability to win from a season ago when neither Crosby or Malkin scored (a half goal per game drop, and a points percentage of only.333 versus.466 a year ago). "I told him when we put him with [Carl] Hagelin and [Patric] Hornqvist, you have to shoot more".

"We got outworked, out-skated", Frans Nielsen said.

Justin Abdelkader scored for the Red Wings, who have lost two straight following a four-game winning streak. Jimmy Howard made 32 saves. Detroit was 1-for-7 on the power play. Pittsburgh was 2 for 5.

Dylan Larkin's power play unit was especially ineffective, but Henrik Zetterberg's wasn't much better. "I think if you go down to it, they score. Those guys make the players around them better, but we have to give other guys credit as well".

Malkin opened the scoring 3:01 into the first game for each team since their five-day break.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said on Saturday that he likes the way Malkin in particular is shooting the puck and not looking for "the next play".


Abdelkader tied it with a shot between Jarry's pads and Kessel gave Pittsburgh the lead when he one-touched a Crosby pass behind Howard from in close.

Under is 4-0 in Rangers last 4 road games and Rangers are 4-0 in their last 4 games following a home loss of 3 or more goals and under is 5-1 in Rangers last 6 games playing on 0 days rest.

Detroit had just one power-play goal in its previous seven games entering Saturday's contest.

Over the past three games Malkin has 11 shots on goal and 18 total attempts.

Malkin, Kessel and Crosby have led the way during the winning streak, combining for nine goals and 23 points.

"I think it's nice to get rewarded, feel good about our game and know what it looks like to have that consistency", Crosby said.

Pittsburgh's lead grew to 4-1 early in the third with another power-play tally. Red Wings D Trevor Daley played his first game in Pittsburgh since signing with Detroit as a free agent in July.

It's by far the best stretch of play this season for the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions, who have been limping along on the fringes of the Eastern Conference playoff picture more or less since training camp ended. His father, Pierre, scored over 500 National Hockey League goals for Buffalo, the New York Islanders, Montreal, St. Louis, Dallas and Colorado from 1987-2007.

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